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What is AFCAT?

The full form of ‘AFCAT’ is Air Force Common Admission Online Test. The AFCAT exam takes place twice in a year in the month of February and August. It is a multiple-stage exam conducted by Indian Air Force to select candidates as Class-I Gazetted officers in Flying & Ground Duty (Technical and Non-technical) branches. This is for the first time AFCAT exam is taking place in online mode. Once you are selected after qualifying all the stages, you will have to undergo a training of 74 weeks, if you are selected in Flying and Ground Duty (Technical) Branches & a training of 52 weeks, if you are selected in Ground Duty (Non-technical) Branches at Air Force Training Establishments.

Important Dates

Do you know the important AFCAT exam dates for the year 2018? If not, look no further! Here are the important dates for AFCAT Recruitment 2018:

Start Date of Application
16th June 2018
Final Date of Application
15th July 2018
Date of Exam
To be announced
Here's the breakdown of vacancies for Flying Branch & Ground Duty Staff.
Entry Branch No. of Vacancies Total
AFCAT Entry Flying 42 42
Ground Duty (Technical) AE (L) – 30
AE(M) – 14
AE (L) – 22
AE (M) – 10
Ground Duty (Non -Technical) Admin – 12
Logistics – 4
Accounts – 5
Education – 4
Admin – 8
Logistics – 1
Accounts – 3
Education – 3
NCC Special Entry Flying 10% seats out of CDSE vacancies for Flying branch -
Meteorology Branch Ground Duty (Non-Technical) 14 10 24
Total 125 57 180
Overall, there are 3 criteria on which the eligibility of a candidate for AFCAT 2018 exam - Education and Age. You need to qualify following eligibility standards to apply for this exam. Apart from that, the candidate must be a citizen of India. Read below to know the eligibility criteria for AFCAT exam:
    • Flying Branch through AFCAT and NCC Special Entry
      • Minimum Age: 20 years
      • Maximum Age: 24 years
    • Commercial Pilot Licence Holder
      • Maximum Age: 26 years
    • Ground Duty (Technical & Non-technical) Branch
      • Minimum Age: 20 years
      • Maximum Age: 26 years
    Note - Candidates below 25 years of age must be unmarried at the time of commencement of course. Widowers and Divorcees below 25 years of age are also ineligible.
    • Flying Branch
      • You must be a Graduate in any discipline (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level)/B.E/B.Tech from a recognized University.
      • If you are a Final Year/Semester students, you are also eligible to apply, provided you produce Degree Certificate issued by the University as per the date fixed by AFSB.
      • There will be no minimum percentage bar for Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE) entry.
    • Ground Duty (Technical) Branch
      • Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics) {AE (L)}
        • You should have a minimum of 60% marks each in Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level and a minimum of four years degree graduation/integrated Post-Graduation qualification in Engineering/Technology from recognised University.
      • Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) {AE (M)}
        • You should have a minimum of 60% marks each in Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level and a minimum of four years degree graduation/integrated post-graduation qualification in Engineering/Technology from recognised University.
        • You should have cleared Sections A and B exam of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India by actual studies with a minimum of 60% marks.
    • Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branches
      • Administration & Logistics
        • You should have a Graduate Degree (Minimum three years degree course) in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
          You should have cleared section A & B exam of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
      • Accounts
        • You should have B.Com. Degree (Minimum three years degree course) from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
    • NCC Special Entry (Flying Branch)
      • You should have NCC Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ certificate acquired on or after 15 December 2015.
      • You should have mandatorily passed with a minimum of 60% marks each in Maths and Physics at 10+2.
      • You should be a Graduate with minimum three years degree course in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
    • Meteorology
      • You should have a Post-Graduate Degree in any Science stream/ Mathematics/Statistics/Geography/Computer Applications/Environmental Science/ Applied Physics/Oceanography/Meteorology/Agricultural Meteorology/Ecology & Environment /Geo-Physics/Environmental Biology with minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together (Provided Maths and Physics were studied at Graduation Level with a minimum of 55% marks in each).
  • Physical and Medical Standards
    • The guidelines with regard to Physical and Medical standards for candidates are given below:
      • You must be physically fit according to the prescribed physical standards.
      • The Height and Weight Parameters is as follows:
        • You will be screened for your height and weight at AFSB. In case you do not meet the height criterion when you report to AFSB, you may not be tested. Overweight/obese candidate would be issued with a letter of caution and advised to reduce weight within the specified limits before reporting for medicals.
        • Flying Branch - The minimum acceptable height for men and women candidates in Flying Branch is 162.5 cms, Leg Length: Min - 99 cms, Max -120 cms, Thigh Length : Max – 64 cms, Sitting Height : Min - 81.5 cms, Max - 96 cms There is no concession for age/sex/region.
        • Ground Duty (Technical/Non-Technical) Branch - The minimum acceptable height for male candidates in Ground Duty (Technical/Non-Technical) Branch is 157.5 cms. For women candidates, the minimum acceptable height is 152 cms. (For Gorkhas and individuals belonging to hills of North Eastern region of India, Garhwal and Kumaon, the minimum acceptable height will be 5 cms less. In case of candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum acceptable height will be 2 cms less than what is applicable to men and women respectively).
        • You also need to satisfy the Visual Standards for the branch you have applied for.
You can apply for AFCAT through Online mode only. To apply for AFCAT 2018, follow these steps & finish your AFCAT online registration:
  • You can register through official website of AFCAT.
  • Note that you have to pay the Application fee online using a Debit Card/Credit Card/Internet Banking/Cash Cards/Wallets or other online payment methods.
  • Just make sure you use a valid email ID, which you have to keep active until the final declaration of results.
  • You should keep a scanned photograph, signature & thumb impression ready as per requirements mentioned in the official notification. You will have to upload these.
  • Submit the Application Form.
  • Take out the Print Out of the Application Form for future reference.

By following these above steps, you will submit your AFCAT online form successfully
Go through the previous years cutoffs & question papers. Make sure you analyse the Cut offs closely before sitting for the exam.
Exam Year Cut Off Marks
AFCAT 1 2018 155 – 165 (Expected)
AFCAT 2 2017 160
AFCAT 1 2017 150
AFCAT 2 2016 148
AFCAT 1 2016 132
AFCAT 2 2015 144
AFCAT 1 2015 126
AFCAT 2 2014 123
AFCAT 1 2014 128
AFCAT 2 2013 116
AFCAT 1 2013 144
AFCAT 2 2012 143
AFCAT 1 2012 135
AFCAT 2 2011 88
AFCAT 1 2011 85
AFCAT follows a particular Scheme of Examination which is mentioned below:
  • The AFCAT Exam will be conducted in various centres across the country.
  • It is mandatory for the candidates opting for Ground Duty (technical) branch to appear in both AFCAT as well as EKT.
  • Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) will also be conducted along with the AFCAT.

The AFCAT selection process consists of two main levels which are mentioned below:
  • Online AFCAT Test
  • SSB
    • STAGE – I
    • STAGE – II
    • STAGE – III
    • STAGE – IV
Now let’s have a look at the detailed selection process:

1. Online AFCAT Test
The written exam will be the following pattern:
Exam Subject Duration No.of Qs. Max. Marks
AFCAT General Awareness, Verbal ability in English, Numerical Ability, Military Reasoning and Aptitude test 120 Mins 100 300
EKT (Ground Duty Technical Branch only) Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical and Electronics 45 Mins 50 150
  • The Online examination will consist of objective type questions and will be in English only for both AFCAT and EKT.
  • You will be allotted 3 marks to every right answer.
  • Negative marking - Your 1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer.
  • It is mandatory for you to opt for Ground Duty (Technical) branch to appear in both AFCAT as well as Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT).

2. SSB
If you qualify the Online AFCAT Test, you will become eligible to appear for SSB. The SSB is a process of 5 days comprising the following stages.

STAGE – I (Day 1) - Officer Intelligence rating Test.⇒ Picture perception and Discussion Test. In case you failed to clear Stage – I, you will be sent back on the first day itself.

STAGE – II - On qualifying STAGE – I, you would become eligible to appear for STAGE-II which would take 3-4 days, during which you will undergo the following tests.
  • Psychological Tests (Written Test).
  • Group Tests (Interactive indoor and outdoor activities).
  • Personal Interview.
  • If you have applied for flying branch then you will also have to undergo Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) test.

STAGE – III Once you qualify STAGE – III, you will be called for Medical Examination either at Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), New Delhi or Institute of Aviation Medicine, Bengaluru.

  • Air Force Selection Board will prepare an All India Merit List based on your performance in the Written Test and AFSB Interview in both Stage I & Stage II.
  • If you successfully qualify all the aforementioned tests and get listed in All India Merit List, then on the basis of vacancies available in various branches/sub-branches, you will be issued joining instructions for one of the Training establishments.
After knowing the AFCAT Exam Pattern, let us know AFCAT syllabus 2019:
English General Awareness Numerical Ability Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test
- Comprehension
- Error Detection
- Sentence Completion/Filling in with correct word
- Synonyms
- Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary
- Idioms and Phrases
- History
- Geography
- Civics
- Politics
- Current Affairs
- Environment
- Basic Science
- Defence
- Art
- Culture
- Sports
- Decimal Fraction
- Time and Work
- Average
- Profit & Loss
- Percentage
- Ratio & Proportion and Simple Interest
- Time & Distance (Trains/Boats & Streams)
- Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability

Examination Centers

Exam centres are allocated to the candidates to attend the CDS prelims & mains exam. The candidates who have applied for UPSC CDS exam need to choose an appropriate examination centre for the CDS paper as per their feasibility. Check the list of state-wise examination centres/cities below:

42Ojhar (Nasik)
45Port Blair
48Salua (Kharagpur)
53Sulur (Coimbatore)